“The Green Mean Machine”
Just when we thought we had seen all that could be done to a ’56 Ford F-100, Steve Hale, owner of Steve’s Restorations & Hot Rods, in Marcy, New York, created an eco-friendly masterpiece. This 23-year-old young gun got the idea from his girlfriend, Kristie Fondario. Steve created a ’56 Ford F-100 that will leave a lesser carbon footprint on the planet and give future truck builders something to think about. Steve and his crew named this unique ’56 “Natural Disaster”. Taking Kristie’s advice, Steve created his ’56 into a futuristic mean green machine.
To start the build, Steve used the original frame rails that were partially boxed using 3/16-inch-thick steel plate. To satisfy the front suspension, a pair of CPP 2-inch drop spindles were bolted onto the factory beam front axle. Removing the leaf springs, except for the main springs, made it a monoleaf front suspension. A pair of Airbagit double-convoluted air springs were teamed with a pair of Doetsch Tech nitrogen gas-filled shocks to complete the front suspension. To allow adequate rear suspension travel of the Ford 9-inch rear end housing, Steve C-notched the rear framerails and then added a four-link with Panhard bar design that also utilizes a pair of Airbagit double-convoluted air springs.
The front and rear air springs were plumbed using 3/8-inch lines and valves connected to a pair of Airbagit compressors and two five-gallon air tanks. Stopping power comes from four CPP disc brakes with 12-inch vented rotors and dual-piston calipers. The green machine rolls on a set of Genuine Boyds “Evolution” billet aluminum 17×8-inch wheels that were anodized copper are wrapped in unique Nokian P205/50R17 environmentally friendly tires. The Nokian tires were made from canola oil and other natural oils, which translate into less pollution during the manufacturing process. Next up, the powertrain needed to be built.
Opening the hood exposes the copper inner fenders and firewall. A hand-formed, copper sheet metal panel was placed behind the monochrome ’56 grille. To complete the environmentally clean theme, Steve painted his ’56 with PPG third generation Vibrance Envirobase waterborne basecoats and pearls. The PPG copper flip-flop metal flake gave the ’56 multiple personalities. Steve knew that his truck would not be complete without a new custom interior, so he quickly got to work making it unique.
To create a clean nostalgic look, Steve finished the all-steel dash with Autometer Classic white-faced gauges. An Ididit tilt steering column was capped with a Genuine Boyd’s billet aluminum, copper anodized, Crown Jewel black leather wrapped steering wheel. Steve fabricated a center console to house the Airbagit gauge and switch panel that separates the ’75 Monte Carlo high-back bucket seats. The seats swivel outward 90-degrees for easy access. Then, Steve delivered his ’56 to Rick’s Upholstery in Utica, New York.
The crew proceeded to cover the seats and door panels using black and saddle tan leather with tuck ‘n’ roll inserts and saddle tan piping. The cab floor was insulated using Dynamat sound deadening material that was covered with black low pile carpet. The sights and sounds were produced by a Panasonic DVD flip screen head unit that was enhanced by a pair of DEI four-channel amps for the front 61/2-inch Coaxial JL Audio mids and highs. The thunder rolls from a pair of JL Audio 8-inch subwoofers located underneath the center console. A pair of Panasonic DVD 7-inch monitors were built into the sun visors. Steve’s buddy, Brandon Rettig, wired the entire system.
A custom truck build of this caliber required the help and support of many people and Steve would like to give a special thanks to:
Phil and Vita (parents), Kristie Fondario (girlfriend), Anthony Manfredo (bodywork, airbrush and photographer), Ken Hodinger (builder, chassis fabricator, wiring), Tim Broadbent (copper smith), Lynde Schultz (engine machinist), Bill Battle (engine builder), Rick Giacona (upholstery) and Brandon Rettig (stereo system).